Planning Your 60-Second BNI Presentation Or Elevator Pitch
Take some time for planning your 60-second BNI presentation, and you will feel better and sound more professional to those listening. A well planned 60-second pitch used at BNI can also be used in other networking environments and as your elevator pitch too.
At your weekly meeting you are required to present a 60-second pitch. Your 60 seconds should be used to educate your fellow BNI members so they can find business for you. If they know more about your business and what you do they will be able to better refer your business.
Being able to present your message each week gives you a good opportunity to explain your various products and/or services in detail and enables you to be quite specific on the types of referrals that you want. Remember that you want to be remembered, but also that people will get bored of hearing the same 60 seconds every week.
What Referrals Are You After?
When you network, especially in a network organisation like BNI, there are more than one type of referral. We claim that there are actually three distinctly different types of business referrals you can get. It is important that you know what they are as this will help you target your 60-seconds so you have a higher chance of getting the types of referrals you want.
Internal Referrals – These types of referral is one where the customer is someone within your BNI group. People in the group hear you share the benefits of working with your business and naturally after trust is gained, many of them will want to do business with you.
By experiencing your business first-hand, they become more knowledgeable and able to refer you with more passion and credibility than if they didn’t have direct firsthand knowledge of your service or products. This is a great benefit of an internal referral.
Most importantly, even with a large group there are a limited number of people who will be prospects for your product or service. Networking groups like BNI are not meant to be “buyers clubs” and that’s not how they’re structured as this limits the potential people that you can do business with.
External Referrals – these referrals are great.
This is where the members of the group act as your sales team and actively look for opportunities to refer business to you outside of the group itself. External referrals help you grow your business as they are not limited to the membership of your group and their needs.
BNI typically only talk about the two types of referrals – the internal and external referrals.
So how can there be more referral types than those two?
Dream Referrals – we believe there is a third group of referrals which are largely ignored, but which we define as “Dream Referrals” because they take the best qualities of external referrals and multiply the impact.
This kind of referral is one where you find someone uniquely positioned to refer you to many people and building just one relationship like this can transform your business. Dream Referrals will not end with the initial referral but continue to generate more and more referrals over time.
Take the time to think about what would be a Dream Referral for you and design your 60-seconds around this group so you can start to share this with your BNI group (sales team) at your nest weekly meeting.
Planning Your 60-Seconds
60 seconds – that’s one minute.
A lot of things can happen in 60 seconds: 250 babies are born around the world, 1.8 million ‘likes’ are made on Facebook and Americans eat 21,000 slices of pizza. But what can you do in 60 seconds?
Let’s break this down to four parts;
Step 1: The Opening (10 seconds)
Every famous speech needs a powerful opening to capture the audience’s attention and your pitch needs this too.
It could be a quote, a statistic, or a question that grabs attention and gets the group involved. It could even be something as simple as wearing a funny accessory or holding a funny prop, something to make people look at you.
These openings need to be unique – you do not want to use the same line over and over and over …
Step 1: Your Introduction (15 seconds)
Now it’s time to introduce yourself.
I am a mortgage broker, but I’m not the same as all other mortgage brokers so I need to make sure this is conveyed in my introduction.
“Hello, my name is Stuart Wills and I am your local mortgage broker based just up the road in Hobsonville. My business is called The Mortgage Supply Company and while we are not the biggest mortgage brokering company, we have the reputation as being one of the best and its that reputation that help us when working with the banks to get the very best for our clients.”
Step 3: The Message (25 seconds)
By now 25 seconds have gone and you should have captured the groups attention and introduced yourself.
Now is the time to tell them the main message and you have 25-seconds to do this. You should be targeting your message with the intention of getting your dream referral, so when you are presenting you need to be mindful that members may have heard the message before and you want to keep their interest. Of course there are many ways to relay the same message and you need to come up with a variety that you can use. Today is may be a story of someone’s experience or how you fixed someones problem, and then next week it may be that you explain something technical about your product or service.
In these 25 seconds, you need to try and get your message across to your group in a manner that allows them to understand what you can do and therefore enables them to identify prospects and then get referrals for you. Make it easy for people in your group.
Step 4: The Conclusion (10 seconds)
At the end of your pitch, you must clearly communicate what it is you want from the group.
This is the sort of conclusion that I would use: “As your local mortgage broker I am always helping people with home loans and dealing with banks. As mentioned today I would like you to help me help others so I am asking you to look out for people that …. “
If it’s money for the company, potential partnerships, or something else – your audience must be made fully aware.
Always thank people for listening and sign off with a memory hook – something like “thank you for lending me your ears, and as your local mortgage broker we would like to help people that you know with their lending too.”
Do you think you can create an amazing 60-seconds pitch?
Practice Your New 60-Second Pitch
They say “practice makes perfect” and you want to create a pitch perfectly designed to get you the types of dream referrals that will transform your business and your bank balance. Or as Andre Agassi said “if you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.”
Treat your 60-seconds seriously and put some effort into it.
Too often we see members of networking groups like BNI do their pitch and everyone knows that they have not put in much effort at all. These members are probably the same ones that will end up leaving the group as it didn’t really work for them.
Funny that eh!
Planning your 60-second BNI presentation is not hard and we know that you probably will not get it “perfect” first time, but if you keep working on it and continuously look for ways to improve it then you should end up with something that you are proud to present. Practice with a timer too which will ensure that each part of your presentation is done within the allocated time and that you are not rushed at the end which often means you do not get your full message across.
You should also find that the other members of the group will take you more seriously and most will also look to improve what they are doing.